Simone Biles withdraws from team gymnastics as Russians defeat US


Simone Biles performs her floor routine during the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships.

Denny Medley | Reuters

Russian gymnasts upset the U.S. Olympic team in Tokyo on Tuesday night after American superstar Simone Biles withdrew from the competition.

Biles, the reigning all-around Olympic gold medalist and one of the faces of the American contingent at the games, left the team final after a disappointing vault performance with what USA Gymnastics called “a medical issue.” Biles “will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions,” the U.S. gymnastics governing body said.

Biles later told NBC’s “TODAY” she is “in shape” and feels “good” physically. She said she felt increased pressure as one of the faces of the games.

“Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and the moment,” she said. “You know, coming here to the Olympics and being the head star of the Olympics is not an easy feat, so we’re just trying to take it one day at a time, and we’ll see.”

The Russian Olympic Committee won the team gold medal with a score of 169.528. The U.S. claimed silver with a tally of 166.096, while Great Britain took the bronze at 164.096.

The Americans failed to win team gold for the first time since 2008.

Biles exited the competition after the vault and headed off the floor with a team doctor. She came back to the arena, hugged her teammates and watched the rest of the competition in her warmup uniform.

Biles later suggested a physical injury did not force her out of the final, according to Reuters. She said she did not want to go on after her vault error, the wire service reported.

The 2016 all-around gold medalist said she would see about whether she would defend her individual title on Thursday.

Biles, 24, is considered one of the greatest gymnasts in the sport’s history. She won four gold medals at the 2016 Olympics and has dominated world championships with 19 gold medals to her name.

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